Everybody blows it in the kitchen every once in a while. Souffles may not rise, creme brulees may not set, pie crusts may be tough, soups may be too salty. There is a never- ending string of things that can go wrong. Most of these things can be fixed, explained or simply ignored. Julia Child used to say, “never apologize” and she was right. If it’s not perfect, who cares? It’s probably still wonderful – or can be made to be so.
It takes a very special person, however, to screw up as badly as I did yesterday. Only a professional in the kitchen could stoop to this level of stupidity and pay such a dear price. I was cleaning. I’ve thought before that cleaning is something I should simply never have to do. Surely there must be a good reason for me to hire a professional to do it for me. Alas, this hasn’t happened yet so I was having to do it myself.
While cleaning out the corner where my beloved KitchenAid mixer and Cuisinart food processor sit, I set the items to the side – on top of the oven. I did make certain that the burners were turned off and that the top was cool. I scrubbed down the granite until it was clean and then proceeded to wipe down the oven. During this process, my phone rang and I went to answer it on the other side of this house.
Within a few moments, I smelled something strange. Within a few minutes the smell was almost burning my nose. I rushed into the living room, which was by this time, filled with smoke. The smoke detector began to scream loudly and the smell, unbearable at this point, prevented me from inhaling. I reached the kitchen to find that my food processor was sitting on top of a burner on high heat. I quickly removed the machine, turned off the burner and tried to scrape the melted plastic from the glass range top, all the while using my shirt as a make-shift face mask. I realized that as I had wiped down the oven, I had accidentally turned on the burner beneath the processor.
As the smoke cleared I assessed the damage. It wasn’t pretty. My expensive food processor was a melted mess. I carefully set it upright, put on all of the moving parts and plugged it in, expecting the worst. With the push of a button the machine came to life, spinning with as much enthusiasm as it had before it’s tragic accident.
This served as affirmation to me that we should truly have no fear when it comes to the kitchen. Even in the most dire of mishaps, things will usually turn out okay. Be creative and have fun. Just avoid putting your expensive appliances on top of the stove. The smell alone will ruin your day.